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David Lees Simpson

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David Lees Simpson (1839-1888)


1888 Obituary [1]

DAVID LEES SIMPSON was born in Old Monkland, Lanarkshire, on the 19th of October, 1839.

He served a pupilage of five years to his brothers, Civil Engineers, Glasgow, and, proceeding to New Zealand in 1862, commenced his active career as a district road-and-bridge engineer under the late Mr. Thomas Paterson, M.Inst.C.E., occupying the position from June 1863 to January 1865.

He next acted, under Mr. Paterson, as Resident Railway Engineer at Southend, New Zealand, until June 1867, when he was temporarily appointed Provincial Government Engineer at Southlands till the end of the latter year.

In 1868 Mr. Simpson was appointed District Engineer for Roads and Works in the Province of Otago, a position he held until 1872, when he was promoted to Provincial Engineer for the same province. He also acted as Consulting Engineer for the Dunedin and Port Chalmers Railway, the first line constructed in Otago.

In 1874 he resigned the Provincial Engineership of Otago to become Engineer to the Otago Harbour Board, a post he held till 1882, when he left New Zealand. In 1883 he went to New South Wales, where, until his death, he practised as a Consulting Engineer. His last work was a design for a proposed new harbour at Port Wollonggong. This was an important scheme, destined to convert the existing inadequate harbour into a fine port, giving a, depth of 24 feet at low water, and capable of accommodating ocean-going vessels of 3,000 or 4,000 tons. The scheme promised well, and obtained influential support, but before it could be commenced its author died suddenly, of heart disease, in Sydney, on the 24th of January, 1888, at the comparatively early age of forty-nine.

Mr. Simpson was a kind-hearted, genial man, and made many friends. He was of refined mind, his tastes being of a lofty and ennobling nature ; especially was he addicted to music, and he was himself a very capable performer on the piano and the violin.

He was elected a Member of the Institution on the 7th of December, 1880.


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